Vegan Mapo Tofu – Sorry I took this photo after taking a bite. I initially thoug…

Vegan Mapo Tofu – Sorry I took this photo after taking a bite. I initially thought, “there’s no way a meatless dish can taste like the real deal” but was mindblown when I tried. This vegan mapo tofu made from mushrooms tasted sooo good (maybe even better than some meat versions tbh). Bonus that it’s kinda simple and really forgiving too!

300g soft (not silken) tofu, cut into cubes
~300g mix of shiitake and button mushrooms, processed to bits
1 clove garlic, rough minced
~ 1 tbsp minced ginger
half a chinese leek, sliced thinly
2 tbsp la dou ban jiang (spicy broad bean paste)
2 tsp ground chili flakes
2 tsp ground sichuan pepper
2 tbsp shaoxing wine
1 tsp sugar
3/4-1 cup veg/mushroom stock
Cornstarch slurry (1 tbsp starch + 3 tbsp water)
Soy sauce, to taste

➡️Parboil your tofu cubes in gently simmering salted water first, ~8 mins.
➡️Cook mushrooms in some neutral oil on low-med heat first to get rid of liquid. Salt them lightly.
➡️Once the first signs of browning begin, turn heat to medium-high then add ginger, garlic, and chili flakes. I like to make space and add some extra oil, then throw the aromatics in that fresh oil pool.
➡️Once things smells good, add the broad bean paste, leeks and half the sichuan pepper.
➡️Add Chinese wine, cook off alcohol. Add stock, sugar, then your prepped tofu cubes and simmer for about 5 min. Taste and adjust with more sugar, soy sauce, or chili powder (actually shiracha helps here since its already in liquid form).
➡️Thicken with slurry, do this in small additions. Stir mixture gently.
To finish, sprinkle the remaining sichuan pepper and garnish with scallions/cilantro.